Mandu is a celebration in stone, of life and joy, a tribute to the love shared between the poet-prince Baz Bahadur and his beautiful consort, Rani Roopmati. The balladeers of Malwa still sing of their euphoric romance. Perched along the Vindhya ranges at an altitude of 2,000 feet, Mandu, with its natural defenses, was originally the fort capital of the Parmar rulers of Malwa.
Towards the end of the 13th century, it came under the sway of the Sultans of Malwa, the first of whom named it Shadiabad - 'city of joy'. And indeed the pervading spirit of Mandu was of gaiety; and its rulers built exquisite palaces like the Jahaz and Hindola Mahals, ornamental canals, baths and pavilions, as graceful and refined as those times of peace and plenty.
Each of Mandu's structures is an architectural gem; some are outstanding like the massive Jami Masjid and Hoshang Shah's tomb, which provided inspiration to the master builders of the Taj Mahal centuries later.
By Air: Nearest airport is at Indore (99 km), connected with Mumbai, Delhi and Bhopal.
By Bus: Regular bus services connect Mandu with Indore, Dhar, Mhow, Ratlam, Ujjain and Bhopal. Best season: July to March.
By Rail: Convenient railheads are Ratlam (124 km) on the Mumbai-Delhi main line and Indore (99 km).